Dexter Gordon is considered to be the first musician to translate the language of Bebop to the tenor saxophone.
Dexter Keith Gordon was born on February 27, 1923 in Los Angeles, California. His father, Dr. Frank Gordon, was one of the first African American doctors in Los Angeles who arrived in 1918 after graduating from Howard Medical School in Washington, D.C. Among his patients were Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton. Dexter’s mother, Gwendolyn Baker, was the daughter of Captain Edward Baker, one of the five African American Medal of Honor recipients in the Spanish-American War.
Dexter began his study of music with the clarinet at age 13, then switched to the alto saxophone at 15, and finally to the tenor saxophone at 17. He studied music with Lloyd Reese and at Jefferson High School with Sam Browne. In his last year of high school, he received a call from alto saxophonist Marshall Royal asking him to join the Lionel Hampton Band. He left Los Angeles with the band, traveling down south and learning to play from fellow band members Illinois Jacquet and Joe Newman. In January 1941, the band played at the Grand Terrace in Chicago for six months and the radio broadcasts made there were Dexter’s first recordings.
It was in 1943, while in New York City with the Hampton band, that Dexter sat in at Minton’s Playhouse with Ben Webster and Lester Young. This was to be one of the most important moments in his long musical career as, as he put it, “people started to take notice.”
Back in Los Angeles in 1943, Dexter played mainly with Lee Young (Lester Young’s brother) and with Jesse Price plus a few weeks with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra. In 1944, he worked with Louis Armstrong ‘s orchestra which was one of the highlights of his careers. Being in the company of the great trumpet master was inspiring and gave him insight into the world of music that he never forgot. It was during this period that Gordon made his first lengthy solo recordings as the leader of a quintet session with Nat “King” Cole as a sideman.
In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus talked about three types of people. One was a priest, another a Levite, and another a Samaritan. The priest and Levite saw a beaten man, yet walked on by. The Samaritan took it upon himself to look after the beaten man. Jesus used the Parable of the Good Samaritan to illustrate what a good neighbor is really like. Those who take pity on those less fortunate than us are true neighbors.
“Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility; for it thinks all things lawful for itself, and all things possible.”—Thomas Kempis
I’ve been searchin all the corners of my room Sweeping dust and memories under the carpet that we purchased Somewhere on some cool retreat, somewhere in Africa
I’ve been trying to catch my breath from the illusion that i lost it When you left me
I’ve been checking for the weather and the time I’m like a bag that’s dropped and drifting in the wind That blows from hurricanes that comes just after grey clouds fill my eyes
I’ve been trying to find my footing on the slopes of the illusion that i lost it When you left me
Like bare feet on hot concrete, we have come to some division
Based on pain from bad decisions Just like clothespins snapped by wild winds Sometimes you can’t hold on to love
It never dies
I’ve been planting all the flowers that you like With the hope them will take root and you will smell the blossom When the wind blows as we sit deep in the garden sipping tea As i watch you looking at me
I’ve been trying to find reality A grip on the illusion that i lost you When you left me
“If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”—(Psalm 139:8-10)
“My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors.”—Maya Angelou (via xxxi-i-mcmxcii)
an open letter to people demanding a white history month,
while you may not have personally enslaved my ancestors, spit in the face of youngsters at sit-ins, bombed that church and killed those little girls, shot malcolm x, told me i got into college because i was black, called someone a…